Intended for healthcare professionals


Life expectancy: US sees steepest decline in a century

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 05 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2142

Linked Opinion

Declining US life expectancy since covid-19—structural inequities foreshadow future fallout

  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that life expectancy fell for the second year running in the US in 2021, meaning the country has experienced the steepest two year decline in a century.1

Life expectancy at birth has shrunk by almost three years, from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77.0 years in 2020 and 76.1 years in 2021.

The report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics said “excess deaths due to covid-19 and other causes in 2020 and 2021 led to an overall decline in …

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